Darwin's Diaries and Journals

page from Darwin's pocket diary that records his writings about Natural Selection and Origin of Species
Courtesy of Cambridge University Library 
A pair of pages from Charles Darwin's Pocket Diary (DAR 158.37) that records the race to publish the topic of Natural Selection and the start of Origin of Species' abstract. This diary also marks other important moments in Darwin's life such as his wedding.

Charles Darwin's Pocket Diary (DAR 158)—or his 'Journal'—was an invaluable tool for dating the progress of his scientific career and follows the course of his life. Starting in September 1838, he wrote or copied his notes into it in what may have been one continuous effort, from his birth in 1809 up to September 6, 1838. Thereafter, and until his the last entry in December 1881, he added to the Journal regularly.

On many of the openings, the left-hand page is devoted to his scientific work and on the right-hand page to personal events.

The earlier Diary of 1826 (DAR 129), opened halfway through his first year at Edinburgh, contains some of his earliest scientific observations.